Fastned’s Q3 quarterly update shows the growth we have become accustomed to from this company. It is usual exponential growth, albeit slowing from 2018. The numbers are impressive, but they appear more impressive when looking at this graph:
The lower bar in the second quarter of each year is due to higher capacity and better efficiency in warmer weather compared to the winter conditions in the first quarter. The company’s revenue and sales grew by 171% year-over-year in Q3. The active number of customers who had at least 1 charging session last quarter grew by 143% compared to Q3 last year.
The table for revenue and active customers looks about the same. Only the chart for open stations would be less steep. Even with this astonishing growth, profitability is not yet in sight.
In September 2018, the network as a whole reached the break-even point. That is, the costs of electricity, rent, maintenance, grid connection, cleaning, etc. for the stations were lower than the stations’ revenue. The next target is turning EBITDA for the company positive, which includes back-office SGA and R&D. With the company’s current growth, that can’t be too far in the future.
For those interested in the actual numbers of the current year, these are the highlights:
- Revenue: € 1,048,000 (+171% vs. Q3 2018)
- Volume: 1,907 (MWh) (+171% vs. Q3 2018)
- Active customers: 30,852 (+143% vs. Q3 2018)
- 1,649 tons of CO2 avoided
What is at least as impressive as the quarterly growth numbers is Fastned’s overall ambition. The ambition is to grow to a network with 1,000 stations in Europe. In the past, this was only visible in press releases about winning tenders for concessions to build fast charging stations.
The road from getting the license to finding the location to being able to actually build the stations proved to be a bit longer and more complex than first envisioned. Not only is the growth of Fastned like Tesla’s, the timelines for building the stations are Muskatesque. The hope is now that the execution after the initial delays will be as steep as the ramp of the Model 3 was.
In Germany new highway stations are opened regularly. The counter reached 15 recently and #16 will follow soon. Beside highway stations, Fastned is cooperating with retailer REWE to offer fast charging in its parking lots. They will be offering the customers the opportunity to recharge their vehicles while getting their groceries.
The United Kingdom saw its first station with 175 kW (upgradable to 350 kW) capacity opened in Sunderland. In the same North East region, Fastned will open 6 more stations. Another project in the UK is a collaboration with Transport for London (TfL) in building the Greater London fast charging infrastructure. Fastned is a member of the group of operators that will build the 300 stations that combine for TfL’s first goal.
Switzerland has granted 20 locations to Fastned. A team is working on the preparations to start building in the Alps.
Belgium has a local Fastned subsidiary that is working hard to turn Belgium into a charging paradise like the Netherlands. My personal opinion is that the first route should be to connect the EU centers in Brussels, Luxembourg, and Strasbourg, denying EU politicians and civil servants the excuse to travel in their large fossil fuel vehicles between the EU offices.
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